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Press Release | December 21, 2020

Revolving Door Project Statement on Congressional Leaders' Failure to Protect the Civil Service

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Revolving Door Project Statement on Congressional Leaders' Failure to Protect the Civil Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eleanor Eagan, eagan@therevolvingdoorproject.org

On Sunday Congress announced that it had reached a deal on a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government funded through September. The package includes $1.375 billion for the border wall — sticking the incoming administration with a costly, unpopular, and inhumane project — and does nothing to halt President Trump’s attack on the civil service through the creation and implementation of the new “Schedule F” civil service classification. 

Schedule F could leave thousands of senior civil servants at risk of being fired for contradicting or questioning politically expedient, but practically harmful, policy choices. It may also make way for the outgoing administration to install loyal officials to frustrate President Biden’s goals. Recognizing the seriousness of this assault on the civil service’s integrity, countless past and present political leaders, civil servants, and outside experts came together to ask Congress to act. And by act, they meant more than sternly worded letters — they meant passing legislation.

In response to their failure to do so, Jeff Hauser, Executive Director, Revolving Door Project said, “Regardless of whether Schedule F results in the sort of worst case scenario experts indicate is possible, Democratic leaders’ failure to take seriously this latest of Trump’s attacks on the civil service is inexcusable. While Republicans felt emboldened to insert funding for Trump’s border wall, a project that 60% of Americans oppose, Democrats couldn’t manage to fight on behalf of the public by going to bat for civil servants like Anthony Fauci. And as they ignore the assaults that are being carried out right under their noses, they are surely also missing much more that is occurring out of the public eye. Over the past year in particular, we have seen clearly that an independent civil service is a matter of life or death. It’s time that Congress starts acting like it.”

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